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Poisoned Legacy - Assessing Amos Wako's Perfomance
Amos Sitswila Wako served as the Attorney General of Kenya (AG) from May 1991 to August 2011. At first he was seen as offering a welcome change from his bumbling predecessor, Matthew Muli, who had led the Kenyan government in the enactment of an amendment that removed the security of tenure of all constitutional offices, including his own.
The optimism was based on his brilliant credentials. Before becoming AG, Wako had held several influential posts, including that of Secretary General of the African Bar Association (1978-1980) and the first Secretary General of the Inter-African Union of Lawyers. He also served as the Chair of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) and of the Kenyan Section of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), of whose global Board he was an active member. He was therefore viewed as having a solid human rights background, which was much needed to counter the country’s disastrous international image. However, there were misgivings in some quarters, and a closer look at his record shows that Wako’s human rights work focused largely on the prestigious international stage, while he kept “an extremely low profile in matters affecting the fundamental rights of Kenyans."